From a database of 540 U.S. cities, a map provides the closest matches of their future climates.
Ever wondered how your home city might be impacted by climate change in, let’s say, 60 years? Turns out you won’t have to keep guessing. A new interactive map offers the experience of what the U.S.’s climate will be in your own home city in the 2080s, taking it from the nearest place that already feels much like your future climate.
Backed by recent research, the map does what it promises: from a database of 540 U.S. cities, it provides the closest matches of their future climates.
Browsing through the map you’ll quickly find out that tomorrow’s New York will feel close to today’s Jonesboro, Arkansas, 1,100 miles to the west. Meanwhile, Jonesboro’s climate in 60 years will, in turn, feel close to today’s Brenham, Texas, around 600 miles southwest.
With a good deal of nuance, the map will tell you that “the typical winter in Jonesboro, Arkansas, is 8°F (4.4°C) warmer and 10.8% wetter than winter in New York”, even pointing out the contours of the territory that best match the estimates. So, travel a few hundred or thousand miles away, and there you go: welcome to the future!
The scenarios are based on 12 different climate variables, including temperature extremes, precipitation patterns and seasonal changes. The map also includes projections of all the 27 models that were used to come up with the final result.
To add some realistic optimism, the map also shows what happens if emissions are sufficiently reduced. Happily, in the second case, you’ll see the projected climate moving much closer to the starting point, often within a few hours ride from your home.
The researchers warn, however, that despite predictions, future climate change might turn out to be much more volatile than anything we can imagine or model, if we do not achieve the Paris targets.